Brady Hoke has coached five games at Michigan. Let’s see where Hoke’s games stand in relation to the last few years. I want to use the idea of score dominance to group these last few seasons together and get an idea of dominant performances. I am defining score dominance as the percent of final score, or margin of victory in shutouts. Rodriguez finished three seasons here, and in the interest of historical perspective I will also include Carr’s last three seasons. Counting Hoke’s five games there have been exactly 80 games played since the start of the 2005 season.
UM’s record in that span is 47-33, where Rodriguez is responsible for two thirds of the losses. The worst five games were the 2011 Gator Bowl, 2007 Ohio, 2010 Ohio, 2007 Oregon, and the ultra-horrible 2008 Ohio game where UM managed to gain just .143 of the total score - going down 42-7 in Columbus. The five best games in terms of score dominance are Eastern in 2005 and Notre Dame in 2007 (both shutouts,) the 2006 Indiana game, 2009 Delaware State, and the third shutout in 80 games, 2011 Minnesota. Brady Hoke is responsible for only 6.25% of the last 80 games, yet contributed one third of the shutouts and the most lopsided win. Can that possibly mean anything?
I think so. I do not think it would be reasonable to use Hoke’s record at UM and extrapolate that he will never lose a game. Yet the fact is four of his five games make up four of the 13 most lopsided victories of the recent past. Carr contributed 16% of his games to the top 13 routs, and RR contributed 8% of his contests to the blowout total. A reasonable expectation is that Hoke will have a blowout pace between those two numbers – we will say 12%. He is currently operating at 80%. He is beating expectations almost by a factor of 7.
I am not going to try and predict a win total here, small sample size and all. I do believe that Hoke has this team overachieving in a very big way. I also believe that if that keeps up, and so far there is no indication that it can’t, we are going to see some very special things this year.